Wednesday, October 7, 2015

The Power of a Heart-Healthy Diet

The Power of a Heart-Healthy Diet

Following a heart-healthy diet reduces cardiovascular risk factors enough to decrease the chance of having a heart attack or stroke by an estimated 30 percent,according to a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Half of the participants, ages 40 to 70, were instructed to follow basic British dietary guidelines (comparable to U.S. ones)—eat more produce, fatty fish, and whole grains, while cutting down on sodium, saturated fat, and added sugars.

The other half continued with a traditional British diet. After 12 weeks, the heart-healthy diet resulted in a 4-point lower systolic blood pressure, 10 percent lower LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and triglycer­ides, ½-inch smaller waist, and other beneficial changes, compared to the control group.

6 Essential Foods for Heart Health

It’s hard to overstate the value of a smart, healthy diet in keeping your heart in good shape. In tandem with regular exercise and stress-reducing activities such as meditation, a healthy diet not only can help prevent heart disease, but can slow or even reverse its progression in people who already have it. Here are six foods that should be part of any heart-healthy diet, healthy life tomorrow

Fatty fish

A 2013 study in the Annals of Internal Medicineoffered powerful evidence for the heart-healthy benefits of eating fish. In the study, which included 2,700 healthy life Americans over age 65, researchers correlated participants’ blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids (abundant in fatty fish) with their likelihood of dying over the next 16 years. People taking omega-3 supplements were excluded, so the blood levels were a marker for fish intake. Subjects with the highest initial omega-3 blood levels were 27 percent less likely to die during the 16 years than those with the lowest levels. The greatest reduction was seen in deaths from cardiovascular disease, notably those caused by abnormal heart rhythms. Make sure you choose low-mercury varieties of fish, such as sardines.


Beans, beans, they're good for your heart. Really. An analysis in the Canadian Medical Association Journal combined data from 26 randomized clinical trials, comparing diets with and without foods like beans, chickpeas, lentils, and split peas, and found that one daily serving of these legumes (about 2/3 cup cooked) reduced LDL levels by 5 percent, on average. Many observational studies have linked higher intakes of legumes with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease.


Numerous studies have linked nuts to a markedly reduced risk of heart disease, largely because of their favorable effect on blood cholesterol—especially when substituted for foods high in saturated fat, such as meat and cheese. And a 2013 study in the journal Hypertension linked nut consumption (specifically pistachios) to lower blood pressure. In addition to beneficial unsaturated fat, nuts contain heart-healthy potassium, copper, magnesium, B vitamins, vitamin E, fiber, plant sterols, and other phytochemicals. But limit the serving size to a small handful; even though it’s the good kind, nuts contain a lot of fat and therefore a lot of calories.

Oats and barley (beta-glucan)

According to an analysis published in the December 2014 issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, which pooled data from 28 clinical trials, beta-glucan—the main soluble fiber in oats and barley—can significantly lower blood cholesterol. In fact, the analysis found that daily intakes of at least 3 grams of oat beta-glucan reduced LDL ("bad") cholesterol by 10 points. Most commercially available oat cereals provide 1 to 2 grams of beta-glucan per serving.

Olive oil

It’s a key component of the Mediterranean eating pattern that’s been linked in numerous studies to lower rates of heart attacks and strokes. While it turns out some of the glowing findings on that diet may have been overstated, there’s good evidence that oils rich in monounsaturated fats, including olive oil, have beneficial effects on LDL and HDL cholesterol. And a 2012 study in the American Journal of Hypertension found that the polyphenols (a type of antioxidant) in olive oil reduced both systolic and diastolic blood pressure in young women with mild hypertension.


A small 2014 study in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry found that participants who ate around 3 cups of sliced strawberries a day for a month lowered their LDL cholesterol by 14 percent and their triglycerides by 21 percent. Participants also showed improvements in platelet function and other cardiovascular markers. It's worth noting that 3 cups of strawberries are more than most people would realistically consume in a day, and it's not clear whether smaller intakes would produce the same effects. But there are lots of other good reasons to eat strawberries: Like other berries, they're rich in flavonoids (notably anthocyanins), along with vitamin C and fiber, and they're very low in calories. Because strawberries tend to be sprayed heavily with pesticides, rinse them well and, if possible, buy organic.

Eliza Eger

Author & Editor

My name is Eliza Edger. As we know our healthy life is very important so that I would like to introduce you how to have a healthy life, healthy eating, and healthy sleep


Post a Comment